4 Intake Dewdrops 1950
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The name “Dewdrops”, applied to an intake of Air Force recruits probably invokes a wry sort of smile by some young airmen/airwomen and a twinge of disbelief in others including many civilians. However, in January 1950 that is what 120 15-17 year old lads from all states of Australia were named when they assembled at RAAF Base Forest Hill in NSW that year.
This was the Fourth Intake of RAAF Engineering Apprentices, named by the next senior course. They have proudly carried this name into the history of the Air Force and their deeds and achievements have, with that distinctive nomenclature, made a lasting impression on the operations of the Service.
Dewdrops, having graduated from the RAAF School of Technical Training in December 1952, went on to become highly competent and experienced tradesmen in Air Force trades; pilots who flew Sabre, Vampire, Mustang, Lincoln, Neptune aircraft and Huey gunships and slicks, Army FACs and Caribous in Vietnam.
They were Engineers in all trades who were promoted to the ranks of Corporal through to Warrant Officer and commissioned ranks including Group Captain. They were non-pilot aircrew which included Air Electronic Officer, Flight Engineer and Crew Chief. Post-service, some were employed in the civilian aviation sphere.
These lads became mature men in the service of their country and served from France to Asia, Canada and the USA to the Antarctic, and they were not alone in this respect.
But they were unique in their membership of the “Dewdrops”.
We marched and marched
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